Raúl and I celebrated 25 years together in October. Unlike in past years when we barely acknowledged the milestone of another year, we decided to do something special this time. Not because it felt obligatory, but because we both genuinely wanted to recognize this moment. This accomplishment.

We had a weekend get-away in Squamish, BC–one of my favourite places because of the Tantalus Range. We hiked, we lounged, we enjoyed time together.

Our relationship hasn’t been easy. If I had to briefly summarize, it would look something like this:

Month 1

Meet, dance, have lots of fun.

Year 1

I discover that Raúl is a practicing alcoholic. Life is hell. I experience something completely foreign and we’re both a mess for different reasons. My parents are, understandably, concerned (understatement). What on earth keeps us together? I think it’s partly that I see a lovely soul inside. We dance.

Years 2-6

Raúl gets sober and our relationship ‘normalizes’. We run a mobile DJ business together. We continue to dance.

Years 6-24

We are parents. Life unfolds…We have had very different upbringings and do not have similar interests. We do, however, share similar values and I believe that keeps us together. Dancing stops.

Year 25

Raúl loses his job because the Four Seasons Hotel closes and then COVID happens. I worry that being together all the time may divide us even further. Instead, it brings us together. We are learning new ways of being with one another. We even started dancing again. It isn’t me all dolled up, late at night, and on the dance floor. It’s in the house, usually in sweats!

October 2020

October 19 denoted 24 years of sobriety for Raúl–so October is a notable month because it marks our commitment to each other and Raúl’s sobriety birthday. Plus, it’s when pumpkin spice lattes come out (haha) [but, actually, I had the best PSL I’ve ever tasted at Lil Chef Bistro in Squamish].

Why am I writing about this on a blog that has (mostly) to do about strengths, career, and perfectionism?

Our personal lives are inseparable from our professional lives.

So much has been made possible and been inhibited by the person I’ve been in my relationship. As compared to before (when life was frantic with young children, doing a PhD, working etc), I can now better recognize the patterns that help and hinder my relationship with my partner. I also see the potential for positive change. The final point I want to make, then, is that no matter what you’re “working on” to make your life what you want it to be, it will have favourable ripple effects in other areas of your life. You may not see these immediately. Keep going.

Please share your experience in the comments below or contact me and share your story.


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